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My name's Duncan Shotton, I’m a British designer running a small design studio in Tokyo.
All my work aims to bring happiness to people in their everyday lives.
Thanks for viewing, reading, sharing and pledging!
Soy Shape’s are soy sauce dipping dishes that take your sushi eating experience and food presentation to the next level. Their irregular inner surface takes advantage of the natural colour gradation that occurs in soy sauce at shallow depths, to give the illusion of three-dimensional shapes once filled. There are two types, impossible ‘Triangle' & ‘Cubes' :
- Size (Triangle) : 88mm x 77mm x 11mm
- Size (Cubes) : 88.5mm x 78mm x 11mm
- Material : Japan-grade ceramic (Hakuji 白磁)
- Made in : Gifu, Japan
Soy Shape’s will be Made in Japan, by craftsmen and craftswomen of Gifu prefecture, which has a long history in the ceramics industry. (It’s also where our plate-plate designs are made, check the short film we produced here to see the process).
The dishes come in two types of packaging, to get to you safely and make a great gift.
The Packaging : Standard Box (127mm x 120mm x 39mm)
Each holds two matching dishes, packed in bubble wrap within a simple cardboard box with printed white label.
The Packaging : Limited Edition Slide-Box (210mm x 101mm x 16mm)
Each holds two matching dishes, held within a 5-layer, stacked cardboard presentation tray with matt-card sleeve, cut and assembled by hand at our Tokyo studio, only 77 of each type, signed and serial numbered.
We had initially hoped to produce what has become the limited-edition “slide-box” as the standard packaging for all the dishes. However, after consulting multiple suppliers and considering all manufacturing options, it appeared to be both difficult and expensive. Determined not to give up, we’ve gone down the utterly ridiculous route of cutting each layer of cardboard by hand (jig, pencil, ruler and knife) at our studio, then glueing each layer together one by one.
It takes roughly 100 cuts, 4 folds and 5 glue operations for EACH pack. That’s why they’re limited edition. Why 77? Well, 50 seemed like too little, 100 too much, and 77 is my favourite number.
We’re hoping a bunch of you like the halftone pack graphics as much as we do. Although they were only originally intended as a complement to the dishes themselves, we’ve come to love them as a 2D artworks in they’re own right, and feel like they’d make strong T-shirt designs, and are planning on using a super cool printer we have experience with in the Harajuku area of Tokyo.
We’re initially offering only “the impossible triangle” print, inkjet printed, but if there’s enough demand, we’re planning on upgrading to screenprinting, and offering the “cubes” design too (see “stretch goals” section below).
We’ve yet to make a desicion as to which T-shirt brand we’ll use as the base product to print onto, but our favourites at the moment are Daluc & Gildan. If you back a reward tier that includes a T-shirt, you’ll be able to pick your size via the kickstarter survey which we’ll send once funding is complete.
The 2 Future 2016 items
Aren’t surprises awesome? We’ve got two new products which we’re planning on releasing in August and October this year, with a combined retail price of £30. We don’t want to give away exactly what they are just yet, but can tell you one is a made in the UK kitchen item (clue on instagram), and the other makes a great “tiny space”. These items are available in only the final and penultimate limited reward tiers.
Product Development Process
The Japanese company that we’d planned to collaborate with to produce Soy Shape pulled out earlier this year. In short, the manufacturing costs were too expensive, and they didn’t think it was a good fit for their existing customers. I’d already put a lot of time and effort into the development of the designs, so we decided to take the project on ourselves as another studio original. We still really like it as a product and as a collaboration between traditional craftsmanship and modern design.
Initial prototyping involved hand-cutting and stacking various layers of plastic sheet. During refinement the hand-cutting process was replaced by laser-cutting, then once the shapes were developed in 3D software, they began a number of iterations using 3D-printing, vacuum-casting, and good old fashion hand model-making.
After the production molds were made, we were able to produce samples in ceramic, and refine the design a little further (by tweaking the mold directly) to suit the material.
So right now, we've finished all the development, refinement, and the production tools and suppliers are ready. Help us kick this project off with a bang!
Special Thanks : Rupert (3D design development support), Fab Cafe Shibuya, Mr.Moriyama, Mr.Shimada, Mr.Honda (Prototyping & Communication support), Nozomi (design and manufacture support), Takashi (Photo and art-direction support).
Production and Fulfilment Plan
Providing this campaign reaches its target, rewards aim to be delivered starting between September and October this year (in time for Christmas! ^^) The simplified schedule is summarised below :
- Backers of tiers which require them to select which item type(s) they want will be sent a kickstarter survey after funding is complete.
- Approximate USD($) and JPY(￥) pledge amount is provided for reference only.
- Not all rewards are shown at relative scale.
- For further information on any of the items listed, check dshott.co.uk
- 15+ backers of tiers including T-shirts - T-shirts upgraded from inkjet printing to screen-printing.
The Kickstarter interface allows only one shipping tier per reward.
International delivery is included in the “SIGNED MINI-POSTER” and “DESIGNER MEGA” tiers only. For all other tiers, once you select your reward, you will be presented with the price for Standard Delivery. Standard Delivery is the cheapest option but is untracked & uninsured.
Backers will be given the opportunity to upgrade their rewards delivery service to Registered Delivery (which includes basic tracking and insurance) after the funding period has finished, for an additional £5. (option will be presented in the kickstarter survey).
Neither Duncan Shotton or the studio can take responsibility for items posted with the Standard Delivery option that are subsequently lost in transit. (But luckily, this hardly ever happens ^_^)
Depending on the law in the country of delivery, rewards may be subject to tax or import duty. We cannot be responsible for paying any such tax or import duty and are unable to define or pre-collect any such taxes or duties. If you are unsure or have questions about tax/import duty, please contact the appropriate local customs office before pledging, as this is out of our control. Payment of duties & taxes must be made prior to, or on receipt of goods. Delayed response may incur further charges, so it's advised you pay as soon as possible.
By backing the project, you are essentially making a pre-order, and helping to bring our project to life.
Our studio is only a 3.5 x 5 meter space, and is already filled with boxes and boxes of our other products and materials. We’ve been working on this project since it’s conception nearly two years ago and launching it on kickstarter is our way of giving it the best launch possible and gauging future demand from the most important early adopter community in the world, you!
Thank you for your pledge in advance, and for sharing this campaign with as many people as you can, through word of mouth, social media and email. Your support means a great deal to our small business.
Risks and challenges
Every project has it's challenges but you can see from our portfolio we have a lot of experience designing products and coordinating their manufacture. We also have great experience in order management and fulfilment. Since 2011, we’ve successfully processed and delivered nearly 4,000 orders, to customers all over the world via our online shop. On top of that, we now have 2 successful kickstarter projects under our belts (search "Rainbow Pencils" or "Sticky Page Markers") which gives us further capability to plan and execute this one too.
Both our previous Kickstarter projects have delivered all rewards on time and as planned, and we don't have any plan to let that record slip now.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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